Life Essay

1553 WordsDec 17, 20117 Pages
I was 17. My high school health class was assigned homework to shadow someone in the medical field. My father was a nurse as the hospital in my city; so I chose him. During my time shadowing, my dad, had to take care of a special patient. This patient had a machine breathing for him and drugs keeping him alive. At what point is an independent person dependent on advanced medical technology to contain life? Life has whatever meaning you give it. Life is complex. It has intertwined itself into different cultural meanings: legal, social, and medical. The word life is a complex definition with multiple meanings. Merriam-Webster’s medical dictionary, Medlineplus, defines life as, “a state of living characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction” (“Life”, def. 2). Living things need to take in energy[->0]. Living things get rid of waste. Living things grow and develop. Living things respond to their environment. Living things reproduce. Over time, living things change slowly due to their environment. Under medically induced life support, a person is in a lifeless vegetative state. They aren’t growing, or reacting to a stimulus, or reproducing. The quality of life is an important consideration in medical care. Medterms.com refers the quality of life as, “the patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities”(“quality of life”, def. 1). Some medical treatments can seriously impair quality of life, while others greatly enhance quality of life. Under vegetative state a person has a very low quality of life even though they may be that way to enhance their overall quality of life. They can no longer enjoy life’s activities. They can no longer enjoy a crisp fall day or a hot summer’s eve. This is the event at the end stage of life, but where does life begin? Does life begin at conception, at the first heart beat, at birth? According

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